It’s a bold move bound to draw attention as the City of Vancouver continues its crackdown on illegal marijuana dispensaries.
Until now most medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Vancouver, even the ones operating without a business license, have required a medical recommendation from a doctor in order to purchase pot.
But now, cannabis legalization activist Dana Larsen says the Vancouver Dispensary Society will sell marijuana to any adult regardless of a doctor’s note at its East Vancouver and West End locations.
Executive Director Dori Dempster says the decision came after great consideration and she says “we will expect the same level of respect from the new people who will visit us and our Code of Conduct applies to all.”
In response, the Vancouver Police Department says its approach won’t change.
Constable Brian Montague says “those who engage in illegal acts always run the risk of unwanted police attention.”
Speaking on CKNW’s Lynda Steele Show with guest host Drex, Larsen says he’s not concerned about the VPD coming in to shut down his dispensary.
“No, I fully expect to get our business license from the city for our Thurlow location anyway,” he says. “Our Hastings spot is in a confusing situation because we’ve got a board hearing coming up in September, but the city is trying to shut us down in the meantime.”
But Vancouver city councillor Kerry Jang says he’s not sure what Larsen’s point is.
“Legalisation is coming, the regulation of marijuana is coming, what’s the issue here.”
Larsen told CKNW’s Lynda Steele Show with guest host Drex that his statement brings attention to what he calls the “ridiculousness of the laws.”
Meanwhile the City of Vancouver continues its heavy-handed approach against dispensaries flouting the city’s new pot shop bylaws.
Seventeen pot shops have been slapped with court-ordered injunctions to shut down.
The preliminary application for the 1182 Thurlow location was refused in October because it is 250m away from an elementary school, according to the City of Vancouver.
The Board of Variance overturned this refusal on May 4th and the City is now waiting on the applicant to submit a full development permit application.
The City says 880 E Hastings is not in a permitted zone and the preliminary application was refused back in October 2015.
They did not close as instructed on April 29th and are being ticketed.
The city says if they do not close in response to ticketing it will seek a court-ordered closure.
In early July, the city granted its second full dispensary business license.